Sporting Kansas City grabbed a 2-0 win at the LA Galaxy on Sunday evening, using the first goals of the season from forwards Johnny Russell and Khiry Shelton to shut out July 4th weekend across MLS a la mode . For the nonce, SKC has vaulted before the Seattle Sounders for first place within the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield races. They’re the primary team to succeed in 13 regular-season games in 2021 and now will enter a buy week as combined with the approaching Gold Cup break. Russell tallied within the 81st minute via a looping header, reacting quickly after Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond saved his initial shot. Felipe Hernandez pressured Adam Saldana during a battle of homegrown midfielders, then Sporting’s captain sprung to life to start out the second-half surge.
Shelton iced the sport within the 95th minute on a breakaway, rounding Bond before tapping into the empty net. The Galaxy flooded numbers forward in search of an equalizer, and Shelton capitalized on a counter-attack that began in Sporting’s defensive half. Just before Russell scored, Sporting nearly opened the scoring within the 80th minute when Roger Espinoza flicked on a Gianluca Busio place kick. Espinoza’s header forced Bond into a robust save, then Andreu Fontas’ back-post header flashed settle the post. The Galaxy dictated one-way traffic during the primary half, outshooting Sporting 9-1. But left-winger Samuel Grandsir and attacking midfielder Victor Vazquez, LA’s two liveliest players, did everything but apply the final touch . Some of LA’s frustrations were attributed to solid goalkeeping from Tim Melia, who registered five saves during the primary half. None were bigger than a double-stop within the 34th minute, keeping out a long-range blast from Vazquez and doing only enough to deny Grandsir’s follow-up effort, which trickled off the post for a free-kick.
LA had another great bid within the 31st minute, though Kevin Cabral’s header from Vazquez’s deep cross steered just wide of the post. And when a pinball-like sequence bounced bent midfielder Sebastian Lletget within the 65th minute, an outstretched leg from Sporting center back Ilie Sanchez deflected wide his fizzing volley. The Galaxy suffered an injury concern late within the half, as a center back Sega Coulibaly exited within the 40th minute with a leg muscle strain. They dropped midfielder Rayan Raveloson onto the backline, throwing the Madagascar international a curveball during his MLS debut. LA lacked the clinical touch, perhaps attributed to Golden Boot presented by Audi leader Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is a late lineup scratch as a precautionary measure thanks to a calf issue. That put Ethan Zubak into the No. 9 roles from the jump. To be fair, Sporting was also missing their star striker also. Alan Pulido is recovering from a foot laceration he suffered in Week 10, which shifted Shelton centrally as a result.